US2674641A - Thermoelectric generator and method for production of same - Google Patents

Thermoelectric generator and method for production of same Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US2674641A
US2674641A US157902A US15790250A US2674641A US 2674641 A US2674641 A US 2674641A US 157902 A US157902 A US 157902A US 15790250 A US15790250 A US 15790250A US 2674641 A US2674641 A US 2674641A
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
thermoelectric generator
thermoelectric
member
junctions
helix
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
US157902A
Inventor
Gifford I Holmes
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Milwaukee Gas Specialty Co
Original Assignee
Milwaukee Gas Specialty Co
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Milwaukee Gas Specialty Co filed Critical Milwaukee Gas Specialty Co
Priority to US157902A priority Critical patent/US2674641A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of US2674641A publication Critical patent/US2674641A/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Application status is Expired - Lifetime legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L35/00Thermoelectric devices comprising a junction of dissimilar materials, i.e. exhibiting Seebeck or Peltier effect with or without other thermoelectric effects or thermomagnetic effects; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof
    • H01L35/28Thermoelectric devices comprising a junction of dissimilar materials, i.e. exhibiting Seebeck or Peltier effect with or without other thermoelectric effects or thermomagnetic effects; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof operating with Peltier or Seebeck effect only
    • H01L35/32Thermoelectric devices comprising a junction of dissimilar materials, i.e. exhibiting Seebeck or Peltier effect with or without other thermoelectric effects or thermomagnetic effects; Processes or apparatus peculiar to the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof operating with Peltier or Seebeck effect only characterised by the structure or configuration of the cell or thermo-couple forming the device including details about, e.g., housing, insulation, geometry, module

Description

G. 1. HOLMES THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR AND METHOD FOR PRODUCTION OF SAME April 6, 1954 Filed April 25, 1950 IN V EN TOR. 0070a [15 Patented Apr. 6, 1 954 THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR AND METHOD FOR PRODUCTION OF SAME Gifford I. Holmes, Waukesha, Wis., assignor to Milwaukee Gas Specialty Company, Milwaukee, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Application April 25, 1950, Serial No. 157,902

4 Claims. (Cl. 136-5) This invention relates. in general, to a thermoelectric generator and method for production of same, and has particular relation to a thermoelectric generator in the form of a thermopile comprising a plurality of thermocouples connected in series, and a method for the production of such a thermoelectric generator.

In prior practice it has been customary to form and join the dissimilar elements of thermoelectric generators individually to form the thermoelectric junctions. Such prior practice is not as rapid and economical as may be desired for the production of thermoelectric generators for some purposes. This is particularly so where the thermoelectric generator is in the form of a thermopile having a multiplicity of dissimilar thermoelectric generator elements and a multiplicity of junctions between such elements.

One of the main objects of the present invention is to provide an improved method of producing thermoelectric generators, and, more particularly to provide an improved method for the production of thermoelectric generators in the form of thermopiles more rapidly and economically.

Another object of the invention is to eliminate the necessity for forming and joining the thermoelectric generator elements individually to form the thermoelectric generators and the thermoelectric junctions therefor.

Another object of the invention is to provide a thermoelectric generator of helical form comprising alternate thermoelectric generator elements formed of dissimilar thermoelectric materials and having contiguous ends joined together within the path of the helix to form thermoelectric junctions.

Another object of the invention is to provide a thermoelectric generator with an improved form of partition or barrier between the junctions thereof.

Other objects and advantages, and numerous adaptations of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description and the accompanying drawing.

In the drawing:

Figure 1 is a fragmentary perspective view showing thermoelectric generator element forming members formed and joined according to the present invention prior to cutting such members helically across the joints into a thermoelectric generator according to the present invention;

Figure 2 shows the thermoelectric generator produced after cutting the joined members of Figure 1 hellcally, and oneillustrative circuit therefor; I

' materials.

Figure 3 is a transverse sectional view of Figure 2;

Figure 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of the insulating barrier for separating the junc tions between contiguous ends of the thermoelectric generator elements; and

Figure 5 is a transverse sectional view similar to Figure 3 but showing diiierent thicknesses for the walls of the thermoelectric generator elements.

Referring now to the drawing, and particularly to Figures 1 through 4, the present invention employs a first thermoelectric generator element forming member I and a second thermoelectric generator element forming member 2 in the production of the thermoelectric generator.

The member I is shown of generally channellike cross-section, and, more particularly, of generally tubular form with spaced longitudinal edges 3 and 4 defining a longitudinally extending slot 5 which is shown extending from end-toend of the member I. The member I may be of generally polygonal or other trough or channellike form in cross section within the scope of the broader aspects of the present invention.

The first step according to the present invention is to place the second thermoelectric generator element forming member 2 in the slot 5 in member I, with its opposite longitudinal edges 6 and I contiguous to the longitudinal edges 3 and 4 respectively of the member I. The members I and 2 are then joined together along the contiguous edges 3, 6, and 4, I. The joining of the contiguous edges 3, E and 4, i together be accomplished by welding the edges of the members I and 2 together. The use of members I and 2, which are adapted later to be cut into the form of the thermoelectric generator, enables welding of joining the edges of these members, for example, with an automatic welding mechanism adapted to form continuous welds along the contiguous edges of members I and 2, This expedites production, and it reduces the cost of pro duction.

In forming the member I the present invention contemplates starting with a tube of the desired thermoelectric material and slotting the same longitudinally to form the longitudinally extending slot or opening 5, or starting with fiat stock and rolling or otherwise forming it to the desired cross-sectional configuration with the longitudinal edges 3 and 4 spaced to form the slot or opening 5. w

' The members I and 3 may be formed of any suitable or preferred dissimilar thermoelectric The member I may, for example, be

formed of stainless steel, copel, constantan, chromel, or any other metal in the thermoelectric series well known in the art, and the member 2 may be formed of the opposite or dissimilar metal separated in the thermoelectric series from the metal from which the member 1- is formed. While dissimilar'metals in the thermoelectric series are referred to, it is to be understood that the present invention is not, in its broader aspects, limited to use of thermoelectric generator element forming members made of dissimilar metals, or to the particular dissimilar metals referred to herein. The members I and 2 may be formed from other dissimilar metalsoralloys, or of other dissimilar thermoelectric materials which, when joined together and heated at the hot junction or junctions, will produce thermoelectric current. The appended claims are to be construed accordingly.

After joining the thermoelectric generator element forming members I and 2 together as previously described, the next step according to the present invention is to. cut the joined members helically at 8 and across the joints intoa thermoelectric generator of helical form havingdissimilar thermoelectric generator elements la and 2a, w th contiguous ends thereof joined together within the path of the helix to form thermoelectric junctions 9 and Ill shown in Figures 2 and 3.

The helix may be. expanded longitudinally after cutting the same to separate the convoluticns as shown in Figure 2, or the desired separation of the convolutions may be obtained by making the width of the helical cut sufficient to provide any desired separation, The foregoing is merely llhlwtrative, it being understood that the convolutions of the helix may be separated otherwise as desired.

It will be noted that the junctions 9 and 10 of the resulting thermoelectric generator are formed by the simple expedient of cutting across the contiguous edges 3, 6 and 4, 1- in cutting the members i and 2 into helical form. This eliminates the necessity for forming and joining the thermoelectric generator elements la and 2a individually to form the thermoelectric generator and the thermoelectric junctions therefor. Accordingly, thermoelectric generators in the form of thermopiles with a multiplicity of thermoelectric generator elements and junctions may be formed rapidly and economically. It is to be understood, however, that the number of elements of which the thermoelectric generator is composed and the number of junctions therefor may vary widely within the scope of the present invention.

While the present invention contemplates use of the helical thermoelectric generator without barrier or separator means between the junctions 9 and in where such separator or barrier means is desired, it may, for example, be in the form of a flat partition or barrier H formed of suitable thermoelectric insulating material. Natural or synthetic mica, ceramic material, ebonite, Bakelite, fiber board and the like are illustrative of suitable insulating materials from which the partition or barrier ii may be formed. These materials are merely illustrative, it beingunderstood that other suitable insulating materials are contemplated, within the scope of the present invention.

The partition or barrier II has a series of n tch s r ind ntations a ne p te longiu in l d es hereof. The otches 12 alon n e of m m r H. are s ag e relati t the notches along the opposite edge of this member so that, by engaging the notches [2 at one end of member H with the convolution at one end of the helical thermoelectric generator, the partition or barrier H may be screwed into the position; shown in; Figures 2 and 3, with the portions: of the. partition H between notches l2 engaging between the convolutions of the helix. In this position the member II forms a barrier or separator between the junctions 9 and the junctions l8. a result, the junctions 9 or the junctions l0 may be subjected to the heat for energizing the thermoelectric generator without heating the other-- junctions which may constitute the cold junctions;

Upon completicnof the thermoelectric generator, it may be used wherever it is desired to produce a thermoelectric current when, for example. the junctions 9 or the junctions ID are heated or brought to a predetermined temperature,

In Figure 2. the device indicated diagrammatically at 13, may be a thermoelectric shut-off valve having an electromagnet provided with a coil which, when energized, holdsa safety shut-off valve in open. position as shown and described in Oscar J. Leins. Patent No. 2,126,564, patented August 9, 19.38; or the device l3. may be a thermoelectric switch of the type shown and described in Clarence Wantz Patent No. 2,190,303, patented February 13, 1940; or a bleed control for a diaphragm valve. of the type shown and described in Wunsch and Schuppert Patent No. 2,291,567, patented July 28, 1942; or a control device ofthe type shown and described in Lourdes V. McCarty Patent No. 2,349,445, patented May 23, 1944; or the bucking coil. of a control device ofthe type shown and described in Thornbery and Wetzel Patent No. 2,340,234,, patented January 25, 1944; or any other suitable device for energization by the thermoelectric generator.

One side of the device I 3 is connected by a conductor 4 to. one of the cold junctions I5 of the thermoelectric generator, and the other side of the device I3 is connected by a conductor l6 to the other cold junction I! of the thermoelectric generator.

Where the device I3 is a bucking relay or coil, it may beused, for example, as a limit control for closing a valve oropening a switch when the temperature to which the hot junctions rises to the limit at which, for example, the flow of fuel to a burner is to be shut 01f.

As shown in Figure 5, the present invention contemplates making the thermoelectric generatorforming element I, or a portion thereof, of

weight and thickness different from the weight and thickness of the thermoelectric generator element forming; member 2- to provide for the most favorable heat transfer. In Figure 5 the member 2' is of the greater weight and thickness, and the member I has ends or edges i3 of substantially the same thickness as the contiguous edges oi the member 2'. The member I diminishes to reduced thickness at l9 between the ends l8 thereof. In the case of a member I of generally tubular form, the gradual reduction in thickness of the member to the intermediate portion of reduced thickness may be accomplished, for example, by ball rollin or otherwise forming the member I to the desired sectional configuration.

important feature or this modification resulting such construction resides in the fact, that, some thermocouple metals usually have one metal of high thermal and electrical resistance, while the other metal is usually a better thermal and electrical conductor. Accordingly, if the member I is a good conductor and the member 2' a poor conductor, the heavier cross section of the member 2' can be balanced electrically and thermally to the lighter cross section of the member I' so that optimum eiTective temperature difierence can be had between the junctions I 8. Of course it is understood that different metals or alloys or other thermoelectric materials may require different proportions.

The embodiments of the invention shown in the drawing are for illustrative purposes only, and it is to be expressly understood that said drawing and the accompanying specification are not to be construed as a definition 0f the limits or scope of the invention, reference being had to the appended claims for that purpose.

I claim:

1. In a thermoelectric generator, a helix comprising av helical coil having successive solid sections of dissimilar thermoelectric materials joined end to end to complete the helix, joints between the ends of said sections forming successive dissimilar thermoelectric generator junctions, and a member of electrical insulationextending longitudinally through the helix and of a width to engage the inner peripheries of the convolutions of the helix at diametrically opposite positions, said insulating member having notches along its opposite edges forming insulating projections which project between and separate the convolutions of said helix from each other.

2. In a thermoelectric generator, a helix comprising a helical coil having successive solid sections of dissimilar thermoelectric materials joined end to end to complete the helix, joints between the ends of said sections forming successive dissimilar thermoelectric generator junctions, and a member of electrical insulation extending longitudinally through the helix and of a width to engage the inner peripheries of the convolutions of the helix at diametrically opposite positions, said insulating member having notches along its opposite edges forming insulating projections which project between and separate the convolutions of said helix from each other, at. least one notched edge of said insulating member being positioned between opposite ends of one group of similar sections of said helix to afford a heat barrier between the thermoelectric generator junctions on one side of said barrier and the thermoelectric generator junctions on the opposite side of said barrier.

3. In a thermoelectric generator, a helix comprising a helical coil having successive solid sections of dissimilar thermoelectric materials joined end to end to complete the helix, joints between the ends of said sections forming successive dissimilar thermoelectric generator junctions, and a member of electrical insulation extending longitudinally through the helix and of a width to engage the inner peripheries of the convolutions of the helix at diametrically opposite positions, said insulating member having notches along its opposite edges forming insulating projections which project between and separate the convolutions of said helix from each other, the thermoelectric materials of successive sections of said helix having diflerent thermal and electrical conductivity for a given cross section and of difierent cross sections proportioned to balance said sections thermally and electrically.

4. In a thermoelectric generator, a helix comprising a helical coil having successive solid sections of dissimilar thermoelectric materials joined end to end to complete the helix, joints between the ends of said sections forming successive dissimilar thermoelectric generator junctions, and a member of electrical insulation having staggered notches forming insulating projections along its opposite edges and adapted to be screwed into the helix with said insulating projections engaging between and separating the convolutions from each other.

References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,310,026 Higley Feb. 2, 1943 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 2,562,696 Canada July 31, 1951 24,968 Great Britain Nov. 17, 1900 34,505 France Feb. 5,, 1929

US157902A 1950-04-25 1950-04-25 Thermoelectric generator and method for production of same Expired - Lifetime US2674641A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US157902A US2674641A (en) 1950-04-25 1950-04-25 Thermoelectric generator and method for production of same

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US157902A US2674641A (en) 1950-04-25 1950-04-25 Thermoelectric generator and method for production of same

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US2674641A true US2674641A (en) 1954-04-06

Family

ID=22565793

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US157902A Expired - Lifetime US2674641A (en) 1950-04-25 1950-04-25 Thermoelectric generator and method for production of same

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US2674641A (en)

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2985949A (en) * 1957-10-28 1961-05-30 Robertshaw Fulton Controls Co Thermocouples and method of making the same
US2992287A (en) * 1957-10-17 1961-07-11 Robertshaw Fulton Controls Co Thermopile construction and method
US3055965A (en) * 1957-10-30 1962-09-25 Tno Heat flowmeter and process and device for the production thereof
US3126616A (en) * 1962-10-10 1964-03-31 figure
US3239377A (en) * 1959-07-13 1966-03-08 Minnesota Mining & Mfg Semiconductor device
US3305393A (en) * 1962-11-09 1967-02-21 Catalyst Research Corp Method of making a thermopile
US3521351A (en) * 1963-05-10 1970-07-21 Nat Res Dev Method of making thermo-electric devices
WO2008104312A3 (en) * 2007-02-26 2009-07-16 Heusler Isabellenhuette Thermopile wire, winding support, and method and machine for the production of a thermoelectric generator
DE102013222344B3 (en) * 2013-11-04 2015-04-02 Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. Method of manufacturing a thermoelectric device and thermoelectric device

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR34505E (en) * 1929-09-12
US2310026A (en) * 1940-11-14 1943-02-02 Bryant Heater Co Thermopile
CA2562696A1 (en) * 2004-06-29 2006-02-02 Lifecore Biomedical, Inc. Internal connection dental implant

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR34505E (en) * 1929-09-12
US2310026A (en) * 1940-11-14 1943-02-02 Bryant Heater Co Thermopile
CA2562696A1 (en) * 2004-06-29 2006-02-02 Lifecore Biomedical, Inc. Internal connection dental implant

Cited By (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2992287A (en) * 1957-10-17 1961-07-11 Robertshaw Fulton Controls Co Thermopile construction and method
US2985949A (en) * 1957-10-28 1961-05-30 Robertshaw Fulton Controls Co Thermocouples and method of making the same
US3055965A (en) * 1957-10-30 1962-09-25 Tno Heat flowmeter and process and device for the production thereof
US3239377A (en) * 1959-07-13 1966-03-08 Minnesota Mining & Mfg Semiconductor device
US3126616A (en) * 1962-10-10 1964-03-31 figure
US3305393A (en) * 1962-11-09 1967-02-21 Catalyst Research Corp Method of making a thermopile
DE1268242B (en) * 1962-11-09 1968-05-16 Catalyst Research Corp A process for producing a thermopile
US3521351A (en) * 1963-05-10 1970-07-21 Nat Res Dev Method of making thermo-electric devices
WO2008104312A3 (en) * 2007-02-26 2009-07-16 Heusler Isabellenhuette Thermopile wire, winding support, and method and machine for the production of a thermoelectric generator
US20100319748A1 (en) * 2007-02-26 2010-12-23 Isabellenhuette Heusler Gmbh & Co. Kg Thermopile wire, winding support, and method and machine for the production of a thermoelectric generator
DE102013222344B3 (en) * 2013-11-04 2015-04-02 Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. Method of manufacturing a thermoelectric device and thermoelectric device

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
Ramesh et al. Electrical Switching in germanium telluride glasses doped with Cu and Ag
US3614387A (en) Electrical heater with an internal thermocouple
AU622239B2 (en) Thermoelectric energy conversion
US2831951A (en) Cartridge heater and method of making same
El-Genk et al. High efficiency segmented thermoelectric unicouple for operation between 973 and 300 K
Thouless Maximum metallic resistance in thin wires
US2709211A (en) Electrical connectors for resistance elements on glass plates
US3232794A (en) Thermocouple probe
Kim et al. The characteristics of the normal-zone propagation of the HTS coils with inserted Cu tape instead of electrical insulation
EP3033754B1 (en) Device for a current limiter and a current limiter comprising said device
US3163732A (en) Electrically fused spring package
US3125860A (en) Thermoelectric cooling system
US20130313245A1 (en) Wire mesh thermal radiative element and use in a radiative oven
US4734139A (en) Thermoelectric generator
GB1021486A (en) Improvements in and relating to thermopiles
US2471317A (en) Heat exchanger
SU455702A1 (en) Thermocouple
Snyder et al. Supercooling of Peltier cooler using a current pulse
EP1083771A2 (en) Tubular heating element
US9299906B2 (en) Thermoelectric device, in particular intended to generate an electric current in a motor vehicle
US1932610A (en) Radiation device
US2563931A (en) Rate responsive thermocouple
EP1661189A4 (en) Thermoelectric power generator for a gas turbine engine
US7132627B2 (en) Electric heating unit housed in a calorie accumulator block
Xu et al. Unusual Sb–Sb bonding in high temperature thermoelectric materials